Controversy in title eliminator

Azinga Fuzile (right) and Shavkat Rakhimov. Photo by: Nick Lourens.

The controversy around the fight between Azinga Fuzile and Shavkat Rakhimov has left many fight fans scratching their heads.

A video of Rakhimov’s corner using what looks like smelling salts between the seventh and eighth round of their IBF junior lightweight eliminator in East London has been doing the rounds.

This has led to Fuzile’s camp lodging a complaint with both Boxing South Africa (BSA) and the International Boxing Federation (IBF).

“The rules are very clear that the IBF will be overlooked in terms of the commission here locally. They will follow suit of the local commission which is Boxing South Africa. The Act is very clear, from 2001, Rule 32.6 and 32.7 is ‘there will be no use of any stimulant or stimulants be it ammonia or smelling salts administered at any point during a fight to the fighter’ and it was clear that it was a stimulant that administered out of the nostrils of Mr Rakhimov,” said Fuzile’s trainer/manager Colin Nathan.

Things seem to have become more bizarre since Sunday’s fight as some sort of contraband was allegedly found in the Tajikistani fighter’s hotel room after he checked out.

Contraband allegedly found in Shavkat Rakhimov’s hotel room.

Although it is unclear what substances were found in the hotel as they are labelled in Russian the whole fight has been tainted.

Fuzile seemed to be dominating the bout and was well ahead on the judges’ scorecards when Rakhimov dropped him twice in the eighth round to force a stoppage.

Nathan clearly wants the boxing authorities to get to the bottom of it all.

“The rules are clear. I don’t want to hear any excuses that they didn’t know. It’s your responsibility, whichever country you are fighting in, to know the rules. Take responsibility for what you do and how you act in the corner. I do. When I go overseas I ask for the local commission’s rules. You’ve got to apply them and you’ve got to abide by them. So if you not going to abide by them then you are disrespecting South African boxing and you tarnishing the image of the sport in my country,” said the trainer.

The next couple of weeks could be interesting as the public wait to see what decisions both BSA and IBF will make.

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